Belgium’s Versatile Goalie

Full Name: Thibaut Nicolas Marc Courtois
Birthdate: May 11, 1992
Place of Birth: Belgium
Playing years: 1997 to Present
Position: Goalkeeper
Football Club (Current): Chelsea

Awards:

Belgian Professional Goalkeeper of the Year (2011)
La Liga Zamora Trophy (2013, 2014)
Premier League Golden Glove (2017)
FIFA World Cup Golden Glove (2018)

Football Career

Thibaut Courtois is currently under Premier League club Chelsea. The Belgian national displayed his goal-saving abilities for The Red Devils in the 2018 World Cup and was awarded the Golden Glove for it. Courtois started his career as a defender in the youth ranks of Bilzen V.V. and later joined Racing Genk where he became a goalkeeper. He made his first team debut at the age of 16 against Associatie Gent and played a crucial role in the club’s Belgian Pro League season 2010-2011 victory. He was recognized as the league’s Goalkeeper of the Year having kept 14 clean sheets in over 40 competitive matches. In July 2011, he joined The Bleus for a reported £8 million fee but was immediately loaned to Atletico Madrid. He went on to win the 2012 Europa League, the 2013 Copa del Rey, and the 2014 La Liga title in three seasons with the Spanish side. He was voted as the best goalkeeper in La Liga in both 2013 and 2014. Courtois returned to Chelsea in 2014 under manager Jose Mourinho. In his first season, he helped the team win the League Cup (Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur: 2-0), and the Premier League title with three games to spare (Chelsea v Crystal Palace: 1-0). In 2017, he kept an overall tally of 16 clean sheets for Chelsea.

Courtois made his international debut at the age of 19 in Belgium’s 0-0 draw against France. He was the youngest goalkeeper to play for Belgium at the time. During their nation’s 2014 World Cup qualifiers, he kept six clean sheets in ten matches. They reached the quarter-finals in the 2014 World Cup after wins against Russia and South Korea. Courtois again played a major role in Belgium’s Euro 2016 qualifiers. He was selected to be part of Roberto Martinez’s final 23-man squad as first-choice goalkeeper in the 2018 World Cup. Belgium had an impressive campaign that saw them advance to the semi-finals and claim third place. Broker bet odds had Belgium winning third place play-off over The Three Lions. (Belgium v England: 2-0). Courtois made 27 saves all in all in the tournament, more than any shot-stopper.

Player Stats

League – Premier League
Appearances: 126
Conceded Goals: 121
Matches without conceded goals: 49
Yellow Cards: 5
Red Cards: 2

League – La Liga
Appearances: 111
Conceded Goals: 94
Matches without conceded goals: 56
Yellow Cards: 6
Red Cards: 1

Notable Skills/Style of Play

– Quick shot-stopping reflexes
– Can save close-range shots
– Excellent positional sense
– Ability to effectively time runs
– Comes off his line to claim crosses

Thibaut Courtois goes AWOL on Chelsea

Courtois to play again in La Liga?

The goalkeeper has failed to turn up in Chelsea’s pre-season training a day after manager Maurizio Sarri gave him the ultimatum to make his plans clear in person. This appears to be a signal of Courtois’ intent. He is reportedly attempting a push exit from the Premier League club amidst interest from the Los Blancos. The La Liga giants look to close a £35m deal to make him the new No.1 in place of Keylor Navas. Chelsea will now likely be forced to sell the Belgian goalie as he has rejected new terms in his contract. They will then be in need of a replacement before transfer window locks shut. Stoke’s Jack Butland and Sevilla’s Sergio Rico are supposedly on Chelsea’s radar.

Where will we see Thibaut Courtois play come new season of Premier League? We’re all waiting to find out. Follow us on Twitter for all the transfer updates!

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